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Developmental predictors of violent extremist attitudes: A test of general strain theory among a sample of Swiss youth


Nivette, A; Eisner, M; Ribeaud, D (2017). Developmental predictors of violent extremist attitudes: A test of general strain theory among a sample of Swiss youth. Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency, 54(6):755-790.

Abstract

Objectives: This study examines the influence of collective strain on support
for violent extremism among an ethnically diverse sample of Swiss adolescents.
This study explores two claims derived from general strain theory:
(1) Exposure to collective strain is associated with higher support for violent
extremism and (2) the effect of collective strain is conditional on
perceptions of moral and legal constraints. Methods: This study uses data
from two waves of the Zurich Project on the Social Development of Children
and Youth. We use ordinary least squares procedures to regress
violent extremist attitudes at age 17 on strain, moral and legal constraints,
and control variables measured at ages 15 to 17. Conditional effects were
examined using an interaction term for collective strain and moral neutralization
and legal cynicism, respectively. Results: The results show that collective
strain does not have a direct effect on violent extremist attitudes
once other variables are controlled. However, the degree to which individuals
neutralize moral and legal constraints amplifies the impact of collective
strain on violent extremist attitudes. Conclusions: This study shows that
those who already espouse justifications for violence and rule breaking are
more vulnerable to extremist violent pathways, particularly when exposed
to collective social strife, conflict, and repression.
once other variables are controlled. However, the degree to which individuals
neutralize moral and legal constraints amplifies the impact of collective
strain on violent extremist attitudes. Conclusions: This study shows that
those who already espouse justifications for violence and rule breaking are
more vulnerable to extremist violent pathways, particularly when exposed
to collective social strife, conflict, and repression.

Abstract

Objectives: This study examines the influence of collective strain on support
for violent extremism among an ethnically diverse sample of Swiss adolescents.
This study explores two claims derived from general strain theory:
(1) Exposure to collective strain is associated with higher support for violent
extremism and (2) the effect of collective strain is conditional on
perceptions of moral and legal constraints. Methods: This study uses data
from two waves of the Zurich Project on the Social Development of Children
and Youth. We use ordinary least squares procedures to regress
violent extremist attitudes at age 17 on strain, moral and legal constraints,
and control variables measured at ages 15 to 17. Conditional effects were
examined using an interaction term for collective strain and moral neutralization
and legal cynicism, respectively. Results: The results show that collective
strain does not have a direct effect on violent extremist attitudes
once other variables are controlled. However, the degree to which individuals
neutralize moral and legal constraints amplifies the impact of collective
strain on violent extremist attitudes. Conclusions: This study shows that
those who already espouse justifications for violence and rule breaking are
more vulnerable to extremist violent pathways, particularly when exposed
to collective social strife, conflict, and repression.
once other variables are controlled. However, the degree to which individuals
neutralize moral and legal constraints amplifies the impact of collective
strain on violent extremist attitudes. Conclusions: This study shows that
those who already espouse justifications for violence and rule breaking are
more vulnerable to extremist violent pathways, particularly when exposed
to collective social strife, conflict, and repression.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Jacobs Center for Productive Youth Development
Dewey Decimal Classification:370 Education
Scopus Subject Areas:Social Sciences & Humanities > Social Psychology
Language:English
Date:2017
Deposited On:07 Mar 2019 10:20
Last Modified:28 Jul 2020 14:06
Publisher:Sage Publications Ltd.
ISSN:0022-4278
OA Status:Hybrid
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1177/0022427817699035
Related URLs:https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/0022427817699035 (Publisher)

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